Least Tern
Sterna antillarum Last updated 3/22/96
The smallest tern on the UTC is common in the summer and spring (April though October). Breeds on sandy open beaches.

On the UTC no other tern will be this small. Gray above with a black cap and nap. The forehead is white. The bill is yellow with a black tip. The legs are also yellow. First summer birds have dark bills and legs, a black line though the eye, and a dark shoulder bar.

Least Terns are very active fishers. They fish very close to shore, hovering and diving right at the waters edge on the beach (they never seem to miss either!). Also often in fresh water marshes.

Look for least terns at Bolivar Flats Bird Sanctuary, Galveston Island State Park, San Luis Pass, Christmas Bay State Park, and San Bernard NWR

A breeding range map is available form the Breeding Bird Survey

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